My standard alarm time, which I immediately snooze for another 10 to 20 minutes. Once I am up, I pop on some music, have a nice warm shower, cook breakfast and get myself ready for the day.
I arrive at the office, and get to my desk. Everything is how I left it the day before so all I need to do is turn on my laptop and we are ready to go. I am currently rotating through the Litigation Practice and I start off by eating my earlier prepared breakfast, checking my emails and writing down my daily to do list. I personally have three lists in order of priority. Having this physical list helps me visualise my tasks.
Following this, I scan the office, say good morning to everyone around me and find a crew to grab a coffee with. Normally this is our graduate group. Our graduate cohort is a close knit group as we do basically everything together. On Eagle Street, we are a bit spoilt for choice with amazing coffee, but my favourite spot is Campos, because the friendly staff there remember my name (which is very rare) and order… and the coffee is delicious.
I am caffeinated and ready to go. First up, I have a client call with my Partner. Our team usually works in groups, made up of lawyers of different levels: this time though, it is just the Partner and I. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with different people, but I also enjoy the one on one opportunities I have when I get to work with a Partner.
I grab a notebook and a pen, and go to my Partner’s office. My partner provides a quick overview of the matter and what the client call will entail. I’ve worked on the matter previously, but I always like to try to think about how this call fits in the overall puzzle. The client call goes for around 30 minutes and I take notes of what was discussed. The call results in a few action items for me to complete over the next day or two so I make sure to include the tasks on my list, once I’m back at my desk.
After the phone call, I focus on what needs to be done next which is an updated fee estimate for a matter I inherited from the last Graduate in the team. Once I’ve finished, I forward it to my Senior Associate and Partner for review.
After a quick look back at my task list, I see that I need to finalise my draft Statement of Reasons. We act for a government regulator who makes decisions which are reviewable in the Tribunal. Our client is required to file a document which sets out how the decision came about and its reasons for its decision. Depending on the nature of the decision, the Statement of Reasons can be a lengthy document so I try to allocate time throughout the week to chip away at the task, rather than trying to complete it in one go. I put on my headphones on and begin listening to my ‘Focus Music’ playlist on Spotify.
Did somebody say food? I tend to lose track of time, but my stomach religiously starts to alert me that it’s lunch time. I normally bring my lunch to work but I always go outside the office to eat.
After lunch, I normally go for a short walk and enjoy our beautiful city. I have a secret guilty pleasure of bubble tea, so I quickly grab a bubble tea on the way back. Having a nice break helps me rejuvenate and focus for a productive afternoon.
After lunch, I’m back into it. I send my draft Statement of Reasons to one of our Associates for review and move onto the next task. This task is for a pro bono client. Thankfully, our firm has an amazing pro bono practice and I sit with the Pro Bono Special Counsel to discuss an issue our client is having. This task involves research into an area of law impacting First Nations land management. My job is to research the meaning and definitions of commonly used terms to identify how those terms might impede First Nations land management. The end goal being that, hopefully, we can work with the client and other key stakeholders to find a legal solution to remove some of these barriers.
After this discussion, I start the pro bono research task. After sitting at my desk for the majority of the day, I move around the office to enjoy the different scenery on offer. Once I find a nice spot, I begin my research by conducting a general google search to further understand the topic and how this issue has arisen. Once I have a grasp of the basics, I then hit the legal databases and search for authorities, case law and commentary. What I find are the terms are readily defined but are extensively broad.
We receive a new instructions from an existing client which requires me to prepare a letter urgently to the other side. I put my pro bono research task on the back burner for a moment and begin reviewing the clients documents and drafting the letter.
I sit down with the Senior Associate and we review the draft letter I completed together. We make some minor changes and then I forward the letter to the other side. It is really rewarding and encouraging to see the work that I actually do get sent to the other side. The Senior Associate provides me with valuable feedback and then I head back into my pro bono task and continue my research.
Work is about done for the day. My final task of the day is to ensure my time entry is up to date. Time entries are one of the most important parts of being a lawyer and it is imperative that I stay on top of it. Once my time entries are all up to day, I check in with the rest of the team to see if I can be of any assistance. Teamwork is so important and I am always keen to jump in wherever I can. If there is nothing else for me to do, I then give my desk a quick tidy and then pack up my bag and leave the office.
I arrive at football training. At my age, I can’t recover as quickly as I once used to, so now I only train once a week. But it is really good to stay mentally strong by doing some sort of physical activity. It is also a great way to stay social with lifelong mates.